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Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever [Kindle Edition]

Reed Albergotti , Vanessa O'Connell
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"Authoritative and overflows with forceful details….Albergotti and O'Connell write like insiders looking out."
Los Angeles Times

"A chilling tale, and many of the anecdotes Albergotti and O’Connell collected sound like they were actually crafted in a TV-drama writers’ room."
The Atlantic

"Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell uncovered plenty more shocking details about the full extent of Armstrong’s drug use as well as the many people and institutions that helped him."
The Daily Beast

"The most comprehensive book on the subject … a colorful and thorough retelling."
USA Today

"Captivating . . . a level-headed view of the culture and business of cycling."
The Economist

"The book is rich in details, facts, and figures."
Velo News

"Wheelmen is all the truth-and-reconciliation the sport needs."
The Philadelphia Review of Books
"The only thing ever missing was the truth. In Wheelmen, we get it."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A detailed account of Armstrong's eventual descent into disgrace."
The Guardian (UK)
"The definitive book on Armstrong."
The Montreal Gazette


The first in-depth look at Lance Armstrong's doping scandal, the phenomenal business success built on the back of fraud, and the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports

Lance Armstrong won a record-smashing seven Tours de France after staring down cancer, and in the process became an international symbol of resilience and courage. In a sport constantly dogged by blood-doping scandals, he seemed above the fray. Then, in January 2013, the legend imploded. He admitted doping during the Tours and, in an interview with Oprah, described his "mythic, perfect story" as "one big lie." But his admission raised more questions than it answered—because he didn’t say who had helped him dope or how he skillfully avoided getting caught.

The Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell broke the news at every turn. In Wheelmen they reveal the broader story of how Armstrong and his supporters used money, power, and cutting-edge science to conquer the world’s most difficult race. Wheelmen introduces U.S. Postal Service Team owner Thom Weisel, who in a brazen power play ousted USA Cycling's top leadership and gained control of the sport in the United States, ensuring Armstrong’s dominance. Meanwhile, sponsors fought over contracts with Armstrong as the entire sport of cycling began to benefit from the "Lance effect." What had been a quirky, working-class hobby became the pastime of the Masters of the Universe set.

Wheelmen offers a riveting look at what happens when enigmatic genius breaks loose from the strictures of morality. It reveals the competitiveness and ingenuity that sparked blood-doping as an accepted practice, and shows how the Americans methodically constructed an international operation of spies and revolutionary technology to reach the top. It went on to become a New York Times Bestseller, a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller, and win numerous awards, including a Gold Medal for the Axiom Business Book Awards. At last exposing the truth about Armstrong and American cycling, Wheelmen paints a living portrait of what is, without question, the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports.


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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen More Doping 17. Januar 2014
Von M. Plendl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Who read the Secret Race of Tyler Hamilton can see a lot of parallels. This time two reporters comment on cycling and doping. Lance Armstrong ist currently the name that has to be involved to get a book sold. Therefore he is on the cover.
It is really a nice read and i can recommand it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen shocking but good 22. September 2014
Von Lina
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
bought this as a present for my husband, it did put a permanent frown on his face, but only because of the content... definitely a good buy!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  332 Rezensionen
59 von 67 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fame, Fortune and Deceit! 20. Oktober 2013
Von Twndggys - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
As a sports fan but not really a biking fan, I followed Armstrong with admiration and pride. How could you not. But I obviuosly did not appreciate the magnitude of his repeated success in the Tour de France and ultimately the PR apparatus and it's enablers had me fooled like millions of others. This book explains why we were all suckers. I can't think of another sport that this con could have been pulled off in such a systematic and morally void manner at all levels. I don't know what to think of Armstrong. It's hard to square his positives and negatives, as an incredibly dedicated super athlete, inspirational cancer surviver, fundraiser and by account good father versus the pathological cheat, narcistic playboy and ruthless protector of his reputation, including his willingness to crush his detractors. Even sympathetic co-conspirator Floyd Landis was responsible for his own fall and you could say that the sport, the sponsors and participants deserved their reckoning. The author is right to show that money was the linchpin of this tale of deceit, but vanity and ego are a close second. The author did his homework and the story flows well from chapter to chapter. There are so many characters it's hard to keep track but it doesn't take your eye off the real subject. Everyone in the college or pro level of any sport in any capacity, sponser, coach, etc, should read this book. It's a sad story all around.
73 von 87 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen third in the series of Lance downfall books, and not the best 25. Oktober 2013
Von Neurasthenic - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an amazing period for cycling fans who followed the ascendance of Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis in the 1990s and 2000s and marveled as they were discredited and fell from grace, condemned as cheaters. For those reading on the topic, the first great text is the USADA's own report on cheating at the U.S. Postal team. It's vivid, detailed, shocking (or was when it was released), and freely available online. Then came Tyler Hamilton's book, The Secret Race, which describes his own decision to cheat and how it all fell apart. If you are going to read only one book on this topic, Hamilton's is so far the best. Now we get Wheelmen, by two reporters from the Wall Street Journal. The last in this round will probably be Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Mancur of the New York Times. That one comes out next year.

These books overlap each other, and a reader might reasonably wonder whether or not it makes sense to read more than one. For me, the answer is very much yes. The USADA report is amazing as a primary source. Hamilton's book gives additional, vivid detail including an extended discussion of how and why great riders chose to cheat, and what it felt like when they did. It also provides some color on Thomas Wiesel, Chris Carmichael, and other players in the doping story who were not discussed in the USADA report because they weren't directly involved. Wheelmen, by contrast, purports to be about the "business" of Lance Armstrong and his doping conspiracy.

What's good? Lots of research, very strong conclusions. Where Tyler Hamilton hints that Wiesel was dirty, this book states plainly that he supported doping. The USADA never addressed the question of why the UCI seemed to back Armstrong despite recurring evidence that he was cheating, but this book spells out the various ways in which Hein Verbruggen was corrupted by Amstrong and his backers. The book reveals things about Armstrong's wives and girlfriends helping in, or at least witnessing the doping that I had never heard before. (Evidently, Sheryl Crow was among those who ultimately testified against him).

What's not so good? First, I found the spin of this as a "business" book to be farcical. We all already know how much money pro athletes make, and we know they make it through team and sponsor payments. We know how rich and powerful people and organizations can intimidate weaker and poorer ones. This material, which supposedly differentiates this book, is not interesting in the least. Second, I found the book oddly mean-spirited. Not only Lance, but many other riders besides, are portrayed without any compassion at all. With few exceptions, their cheating is portrayed as stemming from avarice and a sort of sociopathic commitment to victory at all costs, with little or no recognition that these men may have been suffering and afraid and that they probably made complex moral calculations that contained, in all likelihood, a fair amount of regret. Other journalists and the public are, in this book, routinely mocked for having fallen for Armstrong's lies. Armstrong himself is portrayed as being a sociopath from a young age. Maybe he was, but I bet a more nuanced portrayal would be fair.

Third, the text shows some signs of being rushed. Some people are introduced more than once in nearly identical terms. There are typos, including a comment on page 279 about $19 million of the USADA's $14 million budget coming from the government.

I look forward to Juliet Macur's book, and hope it answers some of the remaining mysteries of the story. Why precisely did the U.S. prosecutor drop its case in early 2012? Just how much did Thomas Wiesel know about what was going on? Did Armstrong actually bribe the UCI in 2002? Did Nike bribe Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a 1999 positive test by Armstrong?
28 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The authors do a masterful job in telling this story - an extraordinary book 24. Oktober 2013
Von Michael L. Hagood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Simply stated, this is an absolutely terrific book that reads more like a novel than non-fiction.

For those who think they know the story I think that you will be surprised. My reaction to this book is the same as to the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Issacson, which my mother gave me as a gift about a year ago. I was a little concerned when I got it because I thought I knew enough about Jobs, Apple, PC industry history etc. for it to not be interesting. Of course, I was wrong because Issacson tells us all a lot of things that we didn't know about the man. In that regard, this book is similar in that there is much more depth and breadth to this story than I ever knew. I will give the reviewers who claim they learned nothing new the benefit of the doubt, but unless they were somewhere part of the inner workings of the cycling world in a profound way, it is hard to believe that this could be possible.

The authors piece together the history of this "conspiracy" by starting at the beginning and introducing the main characters that get the ball rolling. What is surprising is how the characters change but the "character" of Lance Armstrong really doesn't as his career ascends. From living here in Texas I knew to some degree what a jerk Armstrong was - anybody paying attention could tell that he was as ruthless as a mob boss in trying intimidate people who were working with the investigators responsible for his case based on the things that came out over the last couple of years. The authors show that eventually Armstrong made too many enemies for the "conspiracy" story to stay contained despite the fawning adoration of much of the sports media (including many who should have known better, notably Buzz Bissinger, Sally Jenkins and Rick Reilly) and the general public who (understandably) viewed Armstrong as an icon. One certainly can't help but conclude that the formidable Public Relations and legal apparatus that worked in support of Armstrong coupled with the corporate sponsors who refused until the end to withdraw their support (Nike comes off as particularly unethical and crass) almost allowed Armstrong to get by with his completely fabricated public image even as a number of former colleagues were unloading their consciences (while at the same time reducing their own legal exposure) and telling the truth. Thank the Lord this man was ultimately exposed as one of the great frauds in athletic history, notwithstanding the good that the charity organization he founded has accomplished.

I suppose that part of my intense enthusiasm for this book is biased is that unlike so many things in the real world, ultimately the good guys (and they outnumbered by the "bad guys" that are so brilliantly described in this story) prevail at the end.

Like others, I couldn't put this one down. It is my favorite book of the year and the one of the best I've ever read.
52 von 63 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen About more than Lance Armstrong 16. Oktober 2013
Von City Girl - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I read this book and found it to be a completely gripping and fascinating story. At this point whether Lance did it or didn't is well known, but how he did it, how he got away with it and the inner circle that helped him perpetrate it, are revealed in great detail here. A portrait of Armstrong emerges that is more complex than previously established but what really grabbed me was the conspiracy narrative.
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Finally - the Details 17. Oktober 2013
Von Danny A. Mcdougall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Amazing book that explains in detail what happened during the Armstrong years and beyond - I watched the interview on Oprah of Armstrong supposedly telling all - unfortunately, he never did, and I kept wondering, how did he get away with it, with all the "clean" blood tests? How did any if these riders get away with it? This book explains it in great detail in a fascinating, gripping report that reads like an unbelievable mystery novel that is revealed - I was one of those last defenders, but no more after the interview - this book justifies my deep resentment in this person that I once called hero - recommend this book highly!!!
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